CMRK openings in Graz, Austria

CMRK openings in Graz, Austria


Keren Cytter, Untitled, 2016. Photo: Tomer Aluf.

June 8, 2016
CMRK openings in Graz, Austria
CMRK is a network of four independent institutions for contemporary art based in Graz

Friedl Kubelka 
Atelier d’Expression (Dakar)
Camera Austria
June 11–August 14, 2016

Keren Cytter: Selection
Darja BajagićUnlimited Hate
Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien
June 11–September 8, 2016

Dark Chapters
< rotor >
June 11–September 10, 2016

Matt Keegan & Kay Rosen
Eine Wanderausstellung
Grazer Kunstverein
June 11–August 7, 2016 

CMRK is a network of four independent institutions for contemporary art based in Graz: Camera Austria, Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien (KM–), < rotor >, and Grazer Kunstverein.

Friedl Kubelka: Atelier d’Expression (Dakar), curated by Maren Lübbke-Tidow, introduces the artist’s most recent work at Camera Austria. Reflection on her own role as an artist coincides with Kubelka’s interest in people who are engaging in artistic activity, while remaining outside the dominant establishment. The exhibition by Friedl Kubelka is devoted to these so-called “outsiders” and their art. She visited the Atelier d’Expression in Dakar, a psychiatric clinic in Senegal, which gives patients an opportunity to pursue, among other things, artistic activity. The exhibition shows portraits of the patients and a film about them. These works are supplemented by the artwork of those portrayed in Senegal. The latter assumes an essential position within the exhibition and will be sold at an auction initiated by the artist to the benefit of the artist-patients. Becoming visible in this project, too, are Kubelka’s own experiences and the different levels of encounter both with the city of Dakar and related structures and their residents. Stirring and touching unspoken norms without violently breaching them—this is the incredible strength yet also vulnerability of this oeuvre, which cannot be termed documentary but rather brings forward the image as an event.

The exhibition is accompanied by an eponymous publication released by the Edition Camera Austria.

Keren Cytter captures and explores human relationships, particularly the behaviors and interactions performed in everyday life. Working with narrative, she plays with humorous, absurd, and subtle dialogues, which at times mix fictitious situations with real life. In accordance with the complexity of social conditions, her critique is not merely legibly formulated. Rather, specific themes are developed with sensitivity in elaborately written screenplays, in her work with actors, and in the final editing; while on a structural level, everything is precisely depicted in astonishing diversity. In developing her artistic work, she appears to trace the changes in society seismographically, striking a timely nerve in an amazingly condensed, pointed, and exact manner. 

For her first institutional solo exhibtion, Darja Bajagić turns to the murky terrain where real and staged violence bleed one into the other with an ease that is both unsettling and inexorably alluring. This has been a key undercurrent in a practice that to date spans painting, sculpture, video, and installation. Heeding the lure of the fringes, the artist culls her imagery from fan-gore magazines, true crime TV shows, fetish websites, obscure online forums, and hidden chatrooms. She handles these disparate source materials with a dose of humor, working them into densely layered compositions that are at once confrontational and poetically fragile. In this way, she explores laden questions of embodiment, viewership, and visual power relationships—all the while interrogating our driving need to make images accountable.

Both exhibitions at Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien (KM–) show new works and will be accompanied by publications and auxiliary programs. The exhibition Keren Cytter: Selection is generously supported by the AVL Cultural Foundation.

This overview of nine artistic positions concludes a series of several exhibitions in which
< rotor > has examined the construction of history, with special attention given to contemporary history. These are “Dark Chapters” that are thematized in the individual artworks, from the beginning of the First World War until the first time nuclear weapons were used. If one bears current political developments in mind, one might think that further dark chapters will be opened in the future. Then again, the fact that the artists participating in this exhibition defy the seemingly codified course of history in their projects might serve as a spark of hope.

With Max Aufischer, Nemanja Cvijanović, Mounir Fatmi, Douglas Hoagg, Volodymyr Kuznetsov, Olson Lamaj, Tatiana Lecomte, Lőrinc Borsos and Josef Schützenhöfer

As part of its 30th anniversary programming, the Grazer Kunstverein carries on its dedication and investigation into language, exchange and communication by presenting an exhibition by American artists Matt Keegan and Kay Rosen. Eine Wanderausstellung investigates the physical relation to and translation of language in space, while simultaneously portraying an intimate dialogue between two artists from a different generation.

Kay Rosen (1943, US) has been exploring the possibilities of the word-as-image for the past several decades. Her work takes pleasure in a small shift and the subtle changes in language that subvert meaning and reveal the unexpected. In her paintings, drawings, wall works, and collages she uses color, scale, composition, grammatical and typographical strategies, and above all, the structure of language and letterforms to challenge the way people view, read and understand the works presented. Matt Keegan (1976, US) is an interdisciplinary artist. For Eine Wanderausstellung he presents a laser-cut steel sculpture, wall painting, video, and collage that highlight his use of idiomatic phrases—for instance, “it goes without saying”—calling attention to the materiality of language and its open-ended possibilities. Translation of images, material, meaning, color and form are foundational to the Keegan’s work.

The Members Library presents all handwritten diaries by Peter Friedl from 1981 to 2016, while new additions by Julieta Aranda, Christian Mayer, and Chadwick Rantanen will be displayed within the non-stop group show The Peacock.

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June 8, 2016

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